Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker Review

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is directed by J. J. Abrams (who also directed The Force Awakens in 2015) and is the ninth and final installment in the Skywalker saga (for now). The movie happens a year after the events of The Last Jedi, and that’s all I can say about it without going into spoiler territory.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching the prequels and the originals, and so when Disney announced a few years ago that they were going to continue the story, I was extremely thrilled. Fast-forward to December 19th 2019, and I was sitting watching the conclusion to one of my favorite sagas. So, was it any good? Was it worth the wait?

The answer is I don’t know. I have very mixed feelings about this movie and about the new trilogy as a whole. I’ll start with what I liked. The score by John Williams is amazing as always, and in my opinion is the most consistent element across the nine Star Wars episodes. The visuals in the movie are also breathtaking, something that I found to be true for all the newer Star Wars movies. I did also enjoy some of the action sequences, including a couple of lightsaber duels and some space battles. Finally, the cast does a pretty good job with what they’re given, especially Adam Driver, who I think is a terrific actor overall. That about sums up what I liked about The Rise of Skywalker.

Now for the things that didn’t quite work for me. First of all, it feels as though this movie disregards most of what happened in The Last Jedi. In fact, the change in tone is so drastic that it doesn’t even feel like it’s part of the same trilogy. The plot in this movie deviates so much from the first two movies that it makes you wonder whether it was part of their plan all along or if it’s just something they cooked up after the fan reception of The Last Jedi.

Now if one were to look at this movie as its own entity and not as part of a trilogy, there are still many flaws. In my opinion, The Rise of Skywalker relies too much on nostalgia elements to attract older fans. As nice as it is to see some of the old characters return, it sometimes feels rather unnecessary and forced. Speaking of relying on nostalgia elements, I personally did not care for Palpatine’s role in the movie. Without saying anything about it, I feel like Abrams (or whoever decided to bring Palpatine back) showed an absolute lack of originality. Furthermore, just like with most Star Wars movies post-Disney, the humour in the movie is either a hit or a miss. When it’s a hit, it’s great because it can relieve some of the tension, but when it’s a miss, it can really throw you off. Personally, I don’t think that it’s necessary to crack a joke in a serious or dangerous situation just to entertain audiences.

Verdict

As much as it pains me to say it, I will say that Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker was a disappointment. Although the music and the visuals were terrific, I didn’t much care for many of the decisions they’ve taken in the movie. I might need to rewatch it a second time to take it all in, but I don’t know if I want to right now. I still think people should watch this movie and form their own opinions, especially since it’s the conclusion to the Skywalker saga.

Star Rating: 5 out of 10 stars (5 / 10)

Have you had a chance to check out Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Let me know in the comments below!

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